Belgian retailer Colruyt Group has rolled out sustainably grown, local ginger in its Cru stores in Antwerp, Overijse, and Ghent.
Grown without pesticides, using minimum organic fertiliser, the ginger is characterised by a stronger taste than imported ginger, the company noted.
The ginger is the result of sustainable innovation measures implemented by Colruyt Group in cooperation with the REO Veiling (REO Auction) and the Provinciaal Proefcentrum voor de Groenteteelt (Provincial Experimental Centre for Vegetable Production).
This project is part of Colruyt Group's food innovation team for Cru, and focuses on reducing the ecological footprint of ginger by following local, sustainable cultivation processes.
The ginger is grown in a glass greenhouse at the Provinciaal Proefcentrum voor de Groenteteelt, under an unheated plastic tunnel and a cold greenhouse.
The ginger is planted in the spring and harvested in the autumn.
Growing locally emits less CO2, as less transport is needed to get the product to the consumer, the retailer noted.
Traditionally, ginger in imported from Asia and South America, which gives the product a larger ecological footprint.
It is harvested when the plant's foliage is still green and the ginger does not have a chance to harden or form a skin.
As a result, the ginger has a pronounced flavour, is aromatic, contains no fibre and a lot of juice, and is fresher than the imported version from Asia and South America.
The root tubers are taken out of the ground and washed, and the prime quality ginger with a limited shelf life is then ready for consumption.
The retailer is evaluating the scaling up of the cultivation following the positive results from ginger cultivated during the pilot project.